Dan Gibbon may have spent the last three and a half decades around Wisconsin’s flat farmlands, but the lapping waters of Lake Superior, where he grew up, were always on his mind. So recently he got out the shovel and started making a pond. His wife, Gloria, had her doubts (“I wasn’t that excited with the idea of digging up the backyard,” she says). But her hesitance melted away when she saw the fruits of Dan’s labor.
Dan’s pond attracts birds, frogs, butterflies, and crickets (no mosquitoes, though, thanks to the moving water). It also attracts Dan and Gloria. The couple often sip their coffee there while watching the sunrise, and lounge by the gurgling water after dark. “My wife is actually really glad I did this,” says Dan. “And so am I—it’s so relaxing.”
Now, we figure if a retired schoolteacher can build a pond in a weekend, so can you. So we asked This Old House senior technical editor Mark Powers to show you how to make the one you see here—just like Dan’s. All you need is a shovel and a few materials, and before you know it, you’ll have your own little “great lake” to enjoy.